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These Words Changed Everything
Startling News That Rebuilt a Maya Worldview
Roger Peterson, David Aeilts
Chamulas of southern Mexico had little hope. Descendants of the once-proud Maya Indians, they were enslaved by Spanish conquistadors to build a great city and its cathedrals. Centuries later the majority Ladino population continued to discriminate against them. Chamulas kept themselves poor and wretched by practicing witchcraft and ritual alcoholism within a system designed to keep any one man or woman from rising above the rest. To protect themselves, the tribe kept outsiders at arm's length and violently guarded their traditions. Fear was perhaps the greatest price Chamulas paid for the counterfeit comfort of traditionfear of fellow Mayas and fear of gods who required unwavering obedience and sacrifice. Then it happened. Chamulas finally met their own written languagewritten words in their own mother tongue. These startling words caused tens of thousands to abandon their allegiance to death and poverty. These words forged prosperous new lives and permeated communities with uncompromising hope. For the Chamula people, These Words Changed Everything.
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